2105 title RED WHITE.JPG

 

10 January 2022

 


A new threat, right under our noses

 

 

Hi everyone

 

it is a new year and I feel refreshed. thanks to COVID, actually. last year was not my and our best. not to be repeated, thank you. but through all the disruptions and lockdowns, I had the chance to catch up on a number of things. and the sitting still in one place gave perspective, and I believe, so it did for many people. while Omicron seems to be all the rage in the North, here in South Africa it came quickly, spiked dramatically, and subsided quickly again, with barely a notch up on the death rate. my guess is that this will broadly be the case globally. our leaders wisely decided not to punish us on this one, even though we had the Christmas holidays. no new regulations were announced. we still wear masks in public and there are mild limitations on gatherings. but that’s about it. life goes on. and my other guess is that even though COVID won’t go away, perhaps forever, Omicron will be its swan song of being a disruptive disease. look, I might be wrong, I am only guessing, but it might just be that after Omicron, COVID will join the ranks of seasonal flu’s. and if that is the case, vaccines should only be optional for those who feel and know they are vulnerable, just like the flu shot. this would mean that the whole situation should normalize within the next few months.

 

whichever way, we are up and running and on our own feet again. that is the happy part.

 

the not so happy part is, well, everything else. many places in the world were and still are blessed with lots of rain. and where it has been dry for the past years, there’s much to rejoice about – our valley included. but this seemingly normal occurrence takes place within an abnormal climate scenario. the general heat barometer is relentlessly ticking upwards and global warming-fuelled disasters are becoming almost daily news. this is the result of 200 years of industrialization in a manner that treated the environment as fair game, not as a finite and rather vulnerable womb that sustains life, including our lives.

 

it took us a few decades to come to the realization that we can only address this as a global collective, because the problem is global. and I do not mean this in an Orwellian way. we are still too easily thrown between the extremes of atomistic individual liberty and collective determinism, but to act as a collective is neither. it requires individuals and smaller circles of connection to have the freedom to make choices for themselves and be creative within – not without – the context of global interdependency. this, on the one hand. on the other hand it requires leadership that facilitates this freedom and also take responsibility to consolidate the contributions of all and formulate and decide on action. this is sometimes called participatory democracy, a constant conversation, where each has a role to play, but a chosen role, not a determined one. a politics of interconnected flow, on all levels, if you like.

 

we are there only on a very broken level. COVID was (and still is) a good training ground for acting globally. but we are still a room full of warring noises. we are not the best team by far. but at least, we all hear the cacophony. and in very ,many little corners, we actually do listen to each other. many cities, for instance, with their ears closer to the ground, take much needed initiatives that are still missing on national levels, let alone the global. and in the meantime, the problems grow.

 

as if global warming is not enough, over the last 15 years, a new global threat erupted right under our noses. literally, under our noses: the smart phone is the central piece of this threat.

 

industrialists exploited the natural environment with technological means that few anticipated. in that new Wild West, they had free reign and before we could get our bearings together, plunged us into a climate crisis. in a very similar way, the tech barons of Silicon Valley developed means of exploiting human nature and are running far ahead of traditional centres of power in amassing the skills and means, the brain power and the capital to construct a global system of data surveillance. this is still capitalism, because the main driver is self-enrichment, but it is even more insidious as it exploits our natural need for connection with each other. while we feel we are only chatting with friends and family, not only is our chatting used to construct profiles of us for others to make money with, the real threat is that our behaviour is stealthily nudged towards a predictability that serves their profit-making best.

 

this is, in fact, a form of Orwellian control. it rests on the tenets of behavioral psychology that regards humans as nothing but objective organisms with no free will and it is driven by a utopianism where each moment of the life of each society on earth is constantly translated into data, a kind of parallel universe, data that can be used and abused – out of sight from us and out of our right to decide – for the purposes of a very small elite.

 

In all this, Google is the pioneer. Facebook followed and today it has become almost standard practice for many big corporations to get into the game of surveillance capitalism. almost every smart device is not put on the market for our convenience, but to add to the stream of personal data that can be mined from our personal natures. talk about smart cities abound, local experiments turning us all into Jim Carrey’s character in The Truman Show. Just, this time, we are not secretly watched for other’s entertainment, but for other’s commercial purposes.

 

And again, it goes further than being watched. We are gradually being manipulated into becoming predictable. What is sold to us is this: hey, just imagine, before you even decided to go on holiday, your smart device will tell you that it is time for holiday. And it knows you so well, it will even know where you would want to have your holiday before you even think of it. And hey, what’s more, it will make your flight and hotel booking. No sweat on your side! All for you! Because we know you! And then, when you land in your favourite city, pronto, your device will lead you to your favourite restaurant, and what’s more, hey, there the bar tender will wait for you with your favourite drink! Now that is mart, ain’t it? Now, that is the future!

 

If you ask me, that is a scene from an horror movie. Yes, pronto, it will work nicely the first time around. Until you realize that not only have your choice making been stolen from you, you also start to forget why all these “favourites" became favourites in the first place. Because you had choice! because you experimented! Because, hey, you made mistakes! Because, hey, you were not walking around with sensors right up your (you know what) to read you all the time with the grandiose presumption that you can ultimately be “known” as an objective machine!

 

The reality is, the way Google and Facebook and a host of others (and a growing tsunami of smart apps and devices) are seen as making your life easier and. well, smarter, the way it it seen as serving you by getting to “know” you better, that is a straight-faced surface lie. I call it a surface lie, not because it is entirely untrue, but because of what it conceals. This “freedom” you have in your hands, comes with a heavy price tag. you increasingly pay with your privacy, with those times and places everyone’s sanity needs not to be watched and monitored. You pay with your authenticity, for it sucks you dry from creativity and stumbling. And finally, you pay with your value as a social being, as you are cornered into a set type and served only with news and information that keeps you within that type, no matter what type we are talking about.

 

So, while we are inundated with climate crises and environmental collapse, a new worm is eating on our insides. While democracy is supposed to become more participatory, surveillance capitalism is actively working to turn us into consumer and psychological dummies for their commercial purposes. By its intent and very nature, it is undemocratic.

 

Don’t get me wrong. We are a smart bunch, we humans. But if we do not live this smartness with responsibility, we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot and the arm and the heart.

 

We need a participatory economy as much as a participatory politics. Technological advances are not inevitable. We need the freedom to choose, a freedom based on shared knowledge and a certain humility regards our vulnerabilities. When it comes to the potentialities of the digital realm, we all need a voice into how to make use of it responsibly and economically (in the proper sense of the word). There are so many many apps and device features that we do not need to live meaningful lives. And yet we believe we should have it all and should have progressively more of it, regardless of how our time and social spaces and psyches are polluted by it. We do not need to be flattened into a universe of fake news and fake rage and fake images of ourselves. Also this fake notion that someone can somehow know us by eerily observing us from behind our backs.

 

We are only now awakening from our industrial nightmare. and are beginning to bring the polluters to book. But the newly born digital nightmare is still largely running amok.

 

And with that happy news, I wish.. Well, I wish us to keep communicating, not shying away from the difficulties to understand each other. There is no utopia. Life is more interesting than that.

 

Regards

Francois

 

the networked individual.JPG

 

"the networked individual" (HA!Man)

 

 


 

INDEX

 

New Release Teasers | Product Feature | Touring Schedule

 


 


New Release Teasers

 

HA!ART
creations with an aesthetic bent

cid:image011.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

let us not forget we've come this far

strings can only vibrate their warmth when solidly anchored

recording (5mins 22secs) | by HA!Man HA!Man and Anton Cawthorn-Blazeby | 6 March 2021

cid:image012.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

reclining woman

our shapes are memories of leaves

drawing | by Joke Debaere | 2 January 2022

cid:image013.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

skrootwerf lewe

gebrokenheid se voortdurende kreatiwiteit

gedig (319 woorde) | deur HA!Man | 1 Januarie 2022

HA!MIND
issue-driven and food-for-thought creations

cid:image014.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

america

the dark clouds of liberty

video (6mins 16secs) | by HA!Man | 11 December 2021

cid:image015.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

in praise of anger

the neglected emotion

poem (275 words) | by HA!Man | 28 November 2021

HA!LIFE
creations drawing from daily life, on the road and stage

cid:image016.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

mira and the muizenberg wind

blown by the wind from without and within

slide show (46 pictures) | by HA!Man | 20 December 2021

cid:image017.jpg@01D805FF.04978D70

toekomsgesprek

as jy alles weet kan jy net sowel ophou leef

gedig (161 woorde) | deur HA!Man | 4 Desember 2021

 

 

 Subscription Options



Monthly $4 (R45)
(unsubscribe any time)

Monthly Own Amount
(if you'd like to support us with more)

1-year $40 (R450)
(save)

3-year $100 (R1200)
(save more)

1-year Gift to 2 others $70 (R800)
(receive your own 1-year for free)

 

more ..

 

 

arrow up sm7.JPG


 

New Album Feature

 

COLLABORATIONS
HA!Man with musicians and poets

https://www.hamanworld.com/albums/08collaborations/HamanandAntonhighlights/Copy%20of%20FRONT.JPG

HA!Man and Anton highlights

moving, dancing, and playfully crafting spontaneity between HA!Man and Durban based violinist Anton Cawthorn-Blazeby - selected recordings from 2014 to 2021

11 tracks | November 2021

 

 

more ..

 

 

arrow up sm7.JPG


Touring Schedule

SA Tour 1 (6 weeks)

GREATER AREA

DATE

DISTRICT

location

Kwazulu Natal

220126

Kwazulu South

Kokstad

Kwazulu Natal

220127

Kwazulu West

Estcourt

Kwazulu Natal

220128

Kwazulu West

Nottingham Road

Kwazulu Natal

220129

Greater Durban

Durban

Kwazulu Natal

220130

Greater Durban

Ballito

Kwazulu Natal

220131

Kwazulu North

Richards Bay

North East

220201

Low Veld

Nelspruit

Gauteng

220204

Johannesburg

Central

Gauteng

220205

Pta East

Bronkhorstspruit

North West

220206

N West Proper

Klerksdorp

Gauteng

220207

Johannesburg

Park

Gauteng

220209

Johannesburg

Central

Gauteng

220212

Pta Core

Sunnyside

Gauteng

220213

Johannesburg

Sandton

Gauteng

220214

Pta Core

Sunnyside

Gauteng

220216

Johannesburg

Central

Gauteng

220217

Pta Core

Ridge

Gauteng

220218

Vaal

Viljoenskroon

Central

220219

Free State S

Orania

Central

220220

Free State S

Philippolis

Western Cape

220221

Boland S

Somerset West

Western Cape

220222

Boland S

Stellenbosch

Western Cape

220223

Cape Core

Suburbs N

Western Cape

220224

Cape Core

Suburbs S

Western Cape

220225

Overberg N2

Grabouw

Western Cape

220226

Worsgordyn

Durbanville

Western Cape

220227

Peninsula

Simons Town

Western Cape

220301

Peninsula

Fish Hoek

Western Cape

220302

Overberg Strand

Stanford

Southern Cape

220303

Central Garden

George

Southern Cape

220304

Plett & East

Plett

Eastern Cape

220305

Greater PE

Port Elizabeth

Eastern Cape

220307

GTown & Coast

Grahamstown

Eastern Cape

220309

GTown & Coast

Port Alfred

Eastern Cape

220310

GTown & Coast

Grahamstown

Eastern Cape

220311

GTown & Coast

Alexandria

Eastern Cape

220312

HOME BASE

East London

 


MORE SOUTH AFRICA

APRIL 1st half: Western and Southern Cape Tour

May: Central SA and Gauteng Tour


EUROPE

(Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands)

End-May to Mid-August:


NORTH AMERICA

The fall of 2023

FAR EAST

2023

 

more ..

 

arrow up sm7.JPG


 

 

HA!MAN (Francois le Roux)  spontaneous performer in partnership with Joke Debaere

 

+27 (0)83 558 7380 > more contact info -|- get / manage HA! emails -|- schedule -|- HA!World Online Experience


www.hamanworld.com



f

J


IMG_20180919_120729278.JPG

 

kindly use this link (and not the YMLP one at the bottom) to

unsubscribe / subscribe / update address / manage HA!mails

thank you!